COLLECTION GUIDES

1880-1929

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The Frederick Shelley Ryman diaries are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of diaries kept by Frederick Shelley Ryman of Boston, Mass. and New York contain daily entries, notes, poems, writings, correspondence, scraps, clippings, and other memorabilia. Entries record Ryman's thoughts on a various subjects, including religion, William Shakespeare, and women. Some of his notebooks are devoted to specific subjects, such as his "Sonnets to Laura" (his wife), and "Hamlet's Note Book"; diaries containing general thoughts and ideas are called "Notes and Notions" and "Rif Raf".

Restrictions on Access

The Frederick Shelley Ryman diaries are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

Acquisition Information

The Frederick S. Ryman diaries were donated by Walter Muir Whitehill in 1972.

Collection Description

The papers of Frederick Shelley Ryman consist of 44 volumes of diaries, notes, poems, writings, correspondence, scraps, clippings, and memorabilia kept while in New York State and Boston. The diaries date from 1880 to 1929 and record many of Ryman's thoughts on a variety of subjects, including women, religion, and Shakespeare. Many of the entries relating to women are often sexually explicit and degrading. Entries were recorded on an almost daily basis. Some of his notebooks are devoted to specific subjects, such as his “Sonnets to Laura” (his wife), and “Hamlet’s Note Book” where he recorded notes on Hamlet and other subjects. The diaries containing general thoughts and ideas are called “Notes and Notions” and “Rif Raf”.

Organization of the Collection

There are some gaps in the chronological sequence of these volumes, and many dates overlap. It appears that Ryman kept several journals at the same time, with separate numbering schemes. For this reason, a new chronological numbering scheme has been imposed. These volume numbers are listed in brackets. In some cases Ryman has made notes or inserted clippings in volumes after they have been completed. Oversize volumes are indicated by the abbreviation “OS.”

Summary Description of the Collection

Carton 1SH 14WQ M [Vol. 1] Vol. V
August 28, 1880 - December 21, 1881
Carton 1SH 14WQ M[Vol. 2] Vol. VI
"Notes and Notations," January 1, 1882 - March 1, 1884
Carton 1SH 14WQ M[Vol. 3] Vol. VII
"Notes and Notations," March 11, 1884 - May 12, 1885
Carton 2SH 14WR N[Vol. 4] Vol. VIII
May 15, 1885 - March 23, 1886
Carton 2SH 14WR N[Vol. 5] Vol. IX
March 12, 1886 - August 31, 1886
Carton 2SH 14WR N[Vol. 6] Vol. X
"Notes and Notations," September 1, 1886 - June 16, 1887
Carton 3SH 14WS O[Vol. 7] Vol. XIII
July 6, 1888 - December 31, 1888
Carton 3SH 14WS O[Vol. 8] Vol. XIV
January 1, 1889 - July 6, 1889
Carton 3SH 14WS O[Vol. 9] Vol. XV
July 6, 1889 - March 8, 1892
Carton 4SH 14WT P[Vol. 10] Vol. II
October 10, 1890 - October 23, 1896
Carton 4SH 14WT P[Vol. 11] Vol. XVII
October 17, 1896 - October 20, 1897
Carton 5SH 14WV R[Vol. 12]
"Sonnets to Laura," September 2, 1894
Carton 5 SH 14WV R[Vol. 13]
October 17, 1894 - [March 21], 1895
Carton 5SH 14WV R[Vol. 14] Vol. I
"Hamlets Notebook," July 7, 1896 - November 6, 1896
Carton 5SH 14WV R[Vol. 15] Vol. II
"Hamlets Notebook," November 6, 1896 - April [21], 1897
Carton 5SH 14WV R[Vol. 16] Vol. [26?]
April 26, 1897 - [May 20], 1897
Carton 5 SH 14WV R[Vol. 17] Vol. VI
[October 8], 1898 - [April 18], 1899
Carton 6SH 14WU Q[Vol. 18] Vol. XXII
November 22, 1899 - September 14, 1900
Carton 6SH 14WU Q[Vol. 19] Vol. XXIV
November 18, 1900 - June 22, 1903
Carton 7SH 14WW S[Vol. 20]
July 30, 1902 - January 7, 1903
Carton 7SH 14WW S[Vol. 21] Vol. XVIII
July 16, 1903 - November 5, 1903
Carton 7SH 14WW S[Vol. 22] Vol. XXVI
December 29, 1903 - April 7, 1904
Carton 7SH 14WW S[Vol. 23] Vol. XXV
January 26, 1907 - April 8, 1907
OS Carton 1SH 14XI F[OS Vol. 24]
March 25, 1907 - August 19, 1907
Carton 7SH 14WW S[Vol. 25]
April 29, 1907 - [June 10], 1907
OS Carton 1SH 14XI F[OS Vol. 26] Vol. XXXIV
August 20, 1907 - December 23, 1907
OS Carton 1SH 14XI F[OS Vol. 27]
December 24, 1907 - May 9, 1908
Carton 8SH 14WX T[Vol. 28]
January 19, 1908 - February 14, 1908
Carton 8SH 14WX T[Vol. 29] Vol.
March 9, 1908 - April 2, 1908
Carton 8SH 14WX T[Vol. 30] Vol.
May 10, 1908 - August 8, 1908
OS Carton 1SH 14XI F[OS Vol. 31] Vol.
August 10, 1908 - March 4, 1909
Carton 8SH 14WX T[Vol. 32]
August 18, 1908 - September 4, 1908
Carton 8SH 14WX T[Vol. 33]
March 25, 1909 - April 19, 1909
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 34]
March 10, 1910
OS Carton 2SH 14XK H[OS Vol. 35] Vol. B5
September 17, 1910 - January 22, 1911
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 36]
April 22, 1911 - September 6, 1913
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 37]
December 10, 1911 - [May] 1913
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 38]
[1913]
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 39]
November 19, 1918 - January 18, 1919
Carton 9SH 14WY U[Vol. 40]
October 1, 1921 - December 21, 1921
Carton 10SH 14WZ V[Vol. 41]
March 4, 1923 - [June 7], 1923
Carton 10SH 14WZ V[Vol. 42] Vol. XXII
April 1, 1925 - February 2, 1927
OS Carton 3SH 14XJ G[OS Vol. 43]
September 23, 1927 - July 23, 1928
Carton 3SH 14XJ G[OS Vol. 44]
June 15, 1928 - May 20, 1929

Preferred Citation

Frederick Shelley Ryman diaries, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Ryman, Laura.

Subjects:

Religious thought -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
Religious thought -- New York (State).
Scrapbooks, 1880-1929.
Diaries, 1880-1929.